Recently the Eatonia community rink was experiencing troubles.

The rink roof needed replacement over the kitchen area, and replacing the zamboni room was necessary to keep the rink running.

This is the arena that hosts local minor hockey (and other events) in the area. Without the facility, those desiring to play minor hockey would be forced to travel greater distances and miss the encouragement of the local community spectatorship.

Image courtesy of Jenny Hagan/Back Road Photography

Not acceptable to Sam Somerville. Along with others of like mind, he spearheaded a Raise the Roof fundraiser held on January 12, 2019. His own donation of a treasured 1968 Dodge Charger R/T served as primary raffle prize, along with other opportunities for winning.

As with any venture of this type, the work is shared amongst a community. An idea is only as good as the people who will engage in seeing the dream come true. Eatonia is well known for that type of community spirit.

Image courtesy of Jenny Hagan/Back Road Photography

But community efforts require a champion. Someone or some group that is tenacious, focused and will not let go. If you study event planning you will see that initial excitement can carry forward a project, but a plateau is often reached. At that point, the champion(s) step forward and put their reputation on the line. They will seldom speak of this. They just live the vision until it is fulfilled.

Image courtesy of Jenny Hagan/Back Road Photography

As Jenny Hagan explains, “As you know the arena is often the heart and soul of small communities. Its harder for these small areas to keep the funds going to keep them alive. This community is amazing on pulling up their socks and getting things done when they need to be. The Sommervilles are often one of those vital families involved. I don’t think I’ve ever met another person here that is more passionate about our rink and hockey program than Sam Somerville. What he has done for this small town can not be put into words.”

To thrive, a community must have champions. In Kindersley and region, unheralded champions keep this rural area alive. Sam Sommerville is just one of many. Finding and heralding our champions can only help our communities!

Feature Image: Jenny Hagan/Back Road Photography

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Ron Baker
Ron Baker is a recently retired (2005) member of the Kindersley community. His roots run deep – his grandfather homesteaded just outside Kindersley in the early 1900's. Ron was born in the old Kindersley Hospital, has made his home in various other communities over the years, but keeps coming back. Committed to the community, Ron has found his local involvement has proved to be great fodder for some hilarious tales and tragic events. His experience in administration and working with people, along with his love for a good story, ought to help to bring daily life to life! Ron blogs at, and is pleased to be a part of the writing “crew” at Kindersley Social.